Historic Dress
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Border Design Series from the Rexford Costume Research Archive

This series includes images and text representing border designs, including patterns for needlework. It is from the Notebook Series which forms a significant part of the personal research archive of Costume Historian Nancy Rexford. So far, this series is only partially digitized. 

View all Border Design Series Pages in order

In over 30 years of consulting work, Ms. Rexford has collected materials that serve as an impressive finding aid both to women's fashion periodicals from the late 18th to early 20th century and to original objects that are in small collections all across the country. 

Ms. Rexford's notebooks are organized by item type, with xeroxes of fashion illustrations, text, and advertisements from a multitude of different fashion periodicals. Each item is placed in chronological order and annotated with abbreviations for the source title and date. Looking through the notebooks page by page, one can more easily see subtle variations in fashion over time. There are currently 83 binders, with an estimated 29,000 pages and 60,000 illustrations. 


Example items from this collection (see all)

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 161
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Ackermann's Repository of Arts, November 1811. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 160
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, November 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 159
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, December 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 158
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, August 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early 20th…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 157
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, February 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 156
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, February 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 155
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, December 1864. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 154
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, August 1864. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early 20th…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 153
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, November 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th - early…

Border Design Series: Section 03, Image 152
This image includes an illustration related to border designs. It is from Godey's Lady's Book, October or November 1863. The Border Design Series consists of fashion illustrations and texts, compiled by Nancy Rexford, from periodicals dated late 18th…